Just in time for summer, Burger King has dived into the pit with Fire-Grilled Ribs.
I had to find out for myself whether they would be teddy bears or the real stuff. Not desiring to invest very much into this venture, we bought 3 ribs.
Are they processed?
It's real pork meat with bone, not ground then reconstituted.
How do they taste?
They aren't bad. The ribs are on the salty side and have a smoky, charred flavor. They taste better than a lower-end restaurant that does not specialize in ribs. Obviously, they don't taste like ribs that come from a rib joint.
They look dry. Is it tough?
They are fairly moist, not slippery with grease. I wasn't offered barbecue sauce, so I didn't know this was available to smother over the meat until I saw images of others' ribs. I am not a saucy kind of gal so the availability didn't matter but I'm sure those who enjoy their meat messy would prefer the sauce. They aren't fall off the bone or alien-meat (think: beef broccoli), but they are tender and appropriately textured.
How much do they cost?
The ribs are rather diminutive and cost around $1 per morsel at $2.99 for 3, $5.69 for 6, and $7.19 for 8 ribs. The meatier rib took around 4-5 bites for me to finish.
Would I eat it again?
Yes, but. While they are pricey for what you get, I have never been to a rib joint that sells ribs by the rib. If you want to scratch that smoked meat flavor itch and don't want to walk out spending $20, this may work. It won't win any rib cook-off contests, but you could do a lot worse.
I'm also restricting my caloric intake. Those 3 ribs would probably cover 1-1/2 meals if not more.
I am surprised BK's general counsel gave the green light to serve bone-in ribs with the hubbub some pediatricians are stirring, advocating changing hot dogs because they are a choking hazard. These bones will probably be on their target soon if it becomes a regular menu item (which I doubt).
When I was a junior or senior in high school, our cafeteria began serving meat patties with a layer of maroon-colored sauce for lunch. I didn't know what they were so I called them teddy bears because they looked like teddy bears.
Okay, maybe I embellished on the color a bit. They were actually a little greyer. I could have spent hours locating a paper copy of the school menu but I didn't really care. I enjoyed the Chinet cardboard plate textured slab of meat swabbed with the slightly sweet and smoky sauce. At that point in my life, I had not had American-style ribs.
While talking with Bug 2 years ago about school lunches, he reminisced about the riblets he enjoyed (not loved, enjoyed). I recall nodding blankly, no real clue what he was talking about but happy that he enjoyed those riblets. I figured they were tiny ribs, like piglets are to pigs.
He apparently detected that I got lost along the way and began to describe the dish. Ground, formed meat patties with char lines doused in barbecue sauce. I placated him and responded with a nod.
Later that week, we walked along the freezer aisle at a grocery store. Bug pointed to a box of riblets, a flat patty, with little protrusions along its length mimicking ribs and bones. I blinked a few times. The #-shaped meat evoked a long buried memory of eating teddy bears in school 20+ years earlier.